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MRI Tests And Claustophobia

If you require an MRI, but have a serious case of claustrophobia, then the test may seem like an impossible one to get through. This is a concern for many individuals, especially since it is difficult to remain still during the procedure when you are so scared. There are a few things that you can do to alleviate your anxiety and make it through the imaging test. 

Ask About An Open MRI Machine

A typical MRI machine will have a fairly small space where your body is slipped into the machine. While inside the tube of the machine, you will have several inches of space around you. Very little movement is possible. To alleviate claustrophobia fears, as well as the unique needs of obese individuals and children, a device called an open MRI machine was created.

The open MRI machine is not a fully enclosed device. The space is much wider within the patient area. In general, the machine is more of an oblong shape with a semi-circle opening in the middle. The space is not enclosed and this helps to alleviate issues over claustrophobia. 

Ask your imaging specialist about the possible use of an open MRI machine. Since the machines are generally utilized for special cases, you may need to wait longer for an available appointment. Call an imaging center with an open MRI machine as soon as your doctor tells you that you need an MRI. If you need the images as soon as possible, check to see if a local hospital can accommodate your needs. 

Ask For Medication

There are some places where open MRI machines are not available for use. In this situation, you may have no choice but to go through the imaging with a traditional machine. If so, speak with the imaging specialist or your own physician about the use of sedatives during the test. Oral sedatives are most commonly used and include Xanax and Valium. Other types of benzodiazepines may be utilized as well. 

If you are extremely claustrophobic, then an oral sedative may not be enough. In this situation, IV sedation may be an option. This is often referred to as conscious sedation and is something that is common when examinations like colonoscopies are completed. IV sedation will leave you in a state of wakeful sedation, and you will be mostly unaware when the MRI is completed. 

Keep in mind that you will need a friend or family member to help you and to drive you home after the imaging test if you choose any sort of sedation method. 

To find out more, contact a company like Hudson Valley Imaging.